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Monday, May 27
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

Strong first inning wins it for Hoosiers

Baseball vs. Northern Kentucky

Getting off to fast starts is one of the points of emphasis for the IU baseball team, as it stands two days away from its Big Ten opener against Michigan.

The Hoosiers (15-8) took a step in that direction Tuesday with a four-run, four-hit opening frame in a 7-3 win against Division II Northern Kentucky (12-9) at Sembower Field.

Big Ten Freshman of the Week Dustin DeMuth started the bottom of the first with a single into left field.

Sandwiched in between the first two outs in the inning, junior Alex Dickerson singled to left field and Big Ten Player of the Week sophomore Micah Johnson drew a
four-pitch walk.

That set the stage for senior Jerrud Sabourin, who took a 3-2 fastball from NKU pitcher Brent Wagner and sent it to left center field fence, clearing the bases with a double.

“A big two-out hit, that is something we haven’t had in a while,” IU coach Tracy Smith said. “I thought we swung the bat well that inning, and it would have been a shame not to come out with something.”

The four-run first inning was more than enough for pitcher Joey DeNato, as the freshman allowed one run in five innings to record his third victory of the season.

After struggling as a weekend starter earlier in the season, DeNato said he has calmed his nerves and is now pitching more aggressively in the zone, which accompanies a pickoff move that contributed to three of his 15 outs Tuesday.

“It’s definitely a lifesaver because usually walks score runs, so at least I know that if I walk someone, I have the chance to pick them off, which potentially can save a run,” DeNato said.

However, in the field the No. 1 ranked defense in the Big Ten committed three

The Hoosiers had been averaging one error per game through the first 22 games, and Smith said he could see the lack of concentration well before the first pitch.

“I watched it in pregame, and I thought we were lackadaisical in our approach,” Smith said. “I’m concerned about our lack of focus and our lack of preparation to play the game and not our opponent.”

Smith and the Hoosiers will take on former IU assistant Ted Tom today, as Tom brings his NAIA Shawnee State Bears to Sembower Field at 3:05 p.m.

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